Idaho sees no new COVID-19 deaths, only 238 cases. Officials discuss vaccine supply

Posted at 8:30 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 22:30:30-04

This article was originally published by Jacob Scholl and Ian Max Stevenson in the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho reported no new COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday for the first time since March 30, according to updated data from the Department of Health and Welfare.

After recording the lowest seven-day moving average since last June on Monday, the state added 238 new cases on Tuesday. That pushed the seven-day moving average up just slightly, to 222.1. The past two days are the lowest averages since June 29, 2020.

More than half of the day’s new cases were recorded in the state’s two biggest counties: Ada (95 new, 50,851 total) and Canyon (28 new, 26,141 total). The seven-day moving average in Ada County has been between 70 and 100 cases since the middle of March. In mid-December, it was over 400.

In Canyon County, the seven-day moving average has fallen to 21, the lowest it’s been since March 14, when it was 20.3.

The state subtracted cases from several counties on Tuesday: Boise (-1 new, 340 total), Lemhi (-1 new, 522 total), Madison (-3 new, 7,098 total) and Teton (-1, 1,194 total).

To date, 963,235 doses of vaccine have been administered and 420,540 people are fully vaccinated, according to Health and Welfare.

There have been 185,465 confirmed and probable cases of the disease.

The following counties also reported new cases on Tuesday: Adams (1 new, 334 total), Bannock (12 new, 8,609 total), Benewah (1 new, 662 total), Bingham (4 new, 4,775 total), Blaine (4 new, 2,337 total), Bonner (3 new, 3,193 total), Bonneville (15 new, 14,665 total), Boundary (2 new, 858 total), Butte (2 new, 208 total), Cassia (1 new, 2,926 total), Clearwater (1 new, 1,038 total), Custer (1 new, 244 total), Elmore (14 new, 1,918 total), Fremont (1 new, 1,120 total), Gem (2 new, 1,744 total), Idaho (1 new, 1,185 total), Jefferson (3 new, 2,953 total), Jerome (5 new, 2,569 total), Kootenai (21 new, 17,523 total), Latah (3 new, 3,040 total), Minidoka (1 new, 2,323 total), Nez Perce (6 new, 3,543 total), Owyhee (1 new, 1,053 total), Payette (9 new, 2,507 total), Twin Falls (6 new, 9,333 total), Valley (1 new, 832 total).


For the first time since COVID-19 vaccines began to be administered, Idaho saw a dip in doses being doled out on a week-to-week basis.

During a media briefing Tuesday by the Department of Health and Welfare, officials said the drop was partly the result of a pause in administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, which has been halted as a precaution because of a link to blood clots in rare cases.

IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen said Idaho has roughly three-and-a-half weeks of vaccine inventory, and typically the department wants to have only a one-to-two-week supply.

“It appears that we are rapidly approaching the point where vaccine supply will exceed demand,” Jeppesen said.

Heath officials also reported that every Idaho county has a seven-day moving average of fewer than 25 cases per 100,000. Jeppesen said it is the first time this has occurred in “many, many months.” The state’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate dropped to 4.8% last week.

As of the Tuesday briefing, Idaho health officials have recorded 166 vaccine breakthrough cases — vaccinated individuals who then contract COVID-19 — which equates to roughly .04% of fully vaccinated people in the state, according to Dr. Kathryn Turner, deputy state epidemiologist.


Hundreds of people in Idaho prisons have now been vaccinated, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.

IDOC made vaccines available to people in prisons age 65 and older, those in long-term care and people in certain facilities, including the East Boise Community Reentry Center, Treasure Valley Community Reentry Center and Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, according to IDOC spokesperson Jeff Ray.

As of April 14, the last time IDOC updated statistics on its website, at least 1,250 Idaho inmates were fully vaccinated and 111 had received their first dose. Local health districts supply vaccines to prisons.

The department initially prioritized giving vaccines to people in long-term care and those 65 and older. Since Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced in late March that COVID-19 vaccines would be made available to everyone 16 and older, IDOC has shifted to new priorities.

It first wants to make vaccines available for vulnerable people with co-morbidities, the agency said, and the next priority is to vaccinate people in work positions, either in the community or those who interact with larger populations in prison. Finally, vaccines would be made available to all remaining inmates who want it.

IDOC had plans to begin vaccinating people at community reentry centers in Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, as well as people at the St. Anthony Work Camp, but the pause of using Janssen vaccines delayed that, Ray said.

Vaccines are being made available to those at the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino and the North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood.


Vaccine doses administered in Idaho: 963,235, according to Health and Welfare. Of those, 420,540 people have been fully vaccinated.

Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 7,987 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 1,365 admissions to the ICU and 10,335 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.

St. Luke’s Health System: As of April 19, the health system was reporting 31 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 477 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 5%.

Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of April 19, the health system was reporting 33 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 365 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 9.04%.

Boise School District: Reported confirmed cases since April 13: Boise High (1), Borah High (2), Capital High (3), District Services Center (1), Dennis Technical Education Center (1), Highlands Elementary (1), Hillside Jr. High (1), Horizon Elementary (1), Longfellow Elementary (1), North Jr. High (3), Pierce Park Elementary (1), Riverglen Jr. High (1), Roosevelt Elementary (1), West Jr. High (6).

West Ada School District: Reported confirmed cases for April 7-April 20: Centennial High (1), Eagle High (7), Idaho Fine Arts Academy (1), Eagle Middle (1), Lowell Scott Middle (2), Star Middle (1), Cecil D. Andrus Elementary (1), Chaparral Elementary (1), Frontier Elementary (1), Galileo STEM Academy (1), Mary McPherson Elementary (1), Paramount Elementary (1), Prospect Elementary (1), Siena Elementary (1), Ustick Elementary (1).

Total COVID-19 cases by county (confirmed + probable): Ada 50,851, Adams 334, Bannock 8,609, Bear Lake 376, Benewah 662, Bingham 4,775, Blaine 2,337, Boise 340, Bonner 3,193, Bonneville 14,665, Boundary 858, Butte 208, Camas 71, Canyon 26,141, Caribou 682, Cassia 2,926, Clark 59, Clearwater 1,038, Custer 244, Elmore 1,918, Franklin 1,167, Fremont 1,120, Gem 1,744, Gooding 1,297, Idaho 1,185, Jefferson 2,953, Jerome 2,569, Kootenai 17,523, Latah 3,040, Lemhi 522, Lewis 388, Lincoln 498, Madison 7,098, Minidoka 2,323, Nez Perce 3,543, Oneida 353, Owyhee 1,053, Payette 2,507, Power 651, Shoshone 1,073, Teton 1,194, Twin Falls 9,333, Valley 832, Washington 1,212.